“Start with the end in mind.”
Those 6 words contain a piece of business advice, which is of more commercial value than many entire books on business success. The information in that simple, short sentence, could have saved many businesses from going broke and transformed many struggling businesses into super-star success stories.
By focusing with clarity on your desired end result, before starting something new, you massively increase your chances of success. However, many businesses will, for example, start a new marketing campaign, introduce a new service or maybe start a new blog / website – with only a vague idea of what they actually want to achieve.
With only a fuzzy picture of what they want to achieve, it’s very hard to know if they are even on target or not. It’s like setting off on a journey “up north” for the first time, without the address of the destination. You might know that you need to head north, but that’s not enough information – You need an address if you ever want to find the place.
Social media can be low leverage
I am seeing this more and more with businesses deciding to invest huge amounts of time and effort on social networking / social media, with no clear idea why. They will start blogging, using LinkedIn, FaceBook or Twitter – simply because they think they should. However, without a clear goal for all that effort, you can waste a LOT of time and effort! Social media can be a very low leverage activity and can eat into a vast amount of your time, unless you start with the end in mind.
In the past few weeks, several people with massive social networks have called or emailed me, asking what I think they should do “to monetize” their following. One guy, with over 40,000 followers on Twitter has told me that he is investing an amazing 4 hours a day, 6 days a week, building his Twitter network and has almost forgotten why he even started! Here’s what he told me;
To be honest Jim, I started off without a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve, so I just decided to get as many followers as possible. Now, I have all these followers, but 99% of them are not even in the market for my services; which is pretty niche.
I started off using Twitter, in order to offer another channel of communication for the community of people who read my blog and my newsletter. Because of the number of readers I have, I soon gained a massive following.
Initially, I followed them all back and then quickly realised that I was following over 20,000 people, which was too time consuming. Because I had a clear picture of what I wanted to achieve from Twitter, I was able to literally reset my Twitter account (and delete the 23,500 “follows” I had too,) knowing with 100% certainty that I had made the right decision.
Before you start off with a new project, make sure you have a crystal clear idea of what you want to achieve from it.
You can only remain on target, if you know what your target is.